Mobile Phone Turns 40

5:12 PM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • FILED UNDER

by Brett Molina - usatoday.com

This week in 1973, the most important phone call in technology history was made.

Using a prototype Motorola DynaTac, inventor Martin Cooper made the first call on a mobile phone.

Forty years later, it's considered a brick compared with the diminutive devices we carry around.

The historic call took place in New York City. Cooper's inspiration? Captain Kirk's famous flip-top communicator from the Star Trek TV series.

The original DynaTac was 10 inches long and weighed 2.5 pounds, a behemoth by today's standards. For comparison, most modern smartphones weigh between four and six ounces.

Cellphones are everywhere in 2013. According to the U.N., the world has 6 billion cellphone subscribers, and more of them are moving into the realm of smartphones. Last fall, the tech research firm Strategic Analytics claims the global smartphone population topped 1 billion.

Today, Cooper helps run the tech incubator Dyna LLC. He also works as an adviser for companies and the government on telecommunications issues.

My first mobile phone was the Nokia 6110, purchased in the late '90s. Although not as massive as the DynaTac, it felt like a brick in your pocket. It also hosted one of the best mobile games ever: Snake. It required players to guide a snake around the screen, picking up pellets of food. If the snake ever hit a wall or touched any part of its body, it was game over.

 

Most Watched Videos